Call for volunteers to mark 50th anniversary of Vietnam War

News conference held at the Vietnam War Memorial in Springfield

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Volunteers are needed to mark veterans’ graves with flags to mark the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

The Springfield’s Department of Veteran’s Services is requesting volunteers to come together to plant flags on nearly 20,000 grave sites in advance of Veteran’s Day on Friday, November 11. It is a tradition to place flags on veterans’ graves to honor those who served in the armed forces.

Thomas Belton, Springfield’s Veterans Services Director and a Vietnam Veteran himself, said that people in every community should take it upon themselves to put fresh flags on veterans’ grave sites. This is a task that has been taken up in past years by Vietnam veterans, but many are getting older, some are too sick to help, and others have died, so the need for volunteers has increased. “Just like the Korean War veterans,” Belton said. “We’re an aging population.”

Belton was joined Thursday by Congressman Richard Neal and Mayor Domenic Sarno for a news conference was at the Vietnam War Memorial at Court Square in Springfield.